Juvenile Justice

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Juvenile justice reform brought law enforcement and community organizers together last week in Charleston. The discussion focused on a diversion program for juvenile offenders in Florida that could be an example for communities in West Virginia.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Some members of the Wheeling Symphony stopped in at a juvenile detention center in Wheeling last week to bring some musical education to the kids there.


Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman announced Tuesday the appointment of a new chairman for the West Virginia Juvenile Justice Commission.

Twenty-Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers of Putnam County will replace Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Omar Aboulhosn of Mercer County.

Love Krittaya, Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia’s 55 schools districts can now apply for state funding to help combat excessive absences in public schools.


The West Virginia Department of Education is accepting applications from county boards of education for funding to hire a local truancy diversion specialist.

Those county level specialists will work directly with students who have the highest number of absences, providing them individual attention to get them back in the classroom.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Clark Davis reports on Senate Bill 393 and its impact on truancy in schools and across the juvenile justice system. Public Source and The Allegheny Front collaborate on a story about prisoners affected streams polluted by coal ash. And southern rock troubadour Paul Thorn performs "What the Hell is Going On?" live on Mountain Stage.

Clark Davis / WVPublic

State officials joined with members of the juvenile justice community in Huntington Thursday to examine Senate Bill 393.

Senate Bill 393 which reforms the state’s Juvenile Justice system was signed into law on April 2nd. One of the many objectives is to reduce the number of status offenders, those who are charged with an offense that would not be a crime if committed by an adult. Much those offenses have to do with running away from home or what occurs often in West Virginia, being truant from school.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, a young man who found himself in the state’s juvenile justice system talks about what can be done to transition juvenile offenders to a productive life.  And we’ll take a tour inside of a Morgantown landmark that has rarely been seen. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

The Legislature Today
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At the legislature today, the senate passes the Governor’s bill to reform the state’s juvenile justice system.  Senators from both sides of the aisle praise the bill they say will mend troubled kids and their families.  A public hearing this morning brings out the issue of discrimination against the LGBT community in West Virginia.  And the State Board of Education held an emergency meeting Friday to discuss  a bill they say could cause substantial harm to students, teachers, and school systems in the state.  We’ll find out more on The Legislature Today.

Auditions Announced for "The Trial of Dr. Mudd"

Dec 12, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, too many teenagers are incarcerated and a task force has come up with recommendations to lower that number.  And Liz McCormick talks with a playwright who is auditioning actors for his latest worked titled “The Trial of Dr. Mudd.”

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Tomblin's Intergovernmental Task Force on Juvenile Justice released its final report Thursday which includes some 20 recommendations on how to reduce the state's incarcerated youth population. The report focuses heavily on preventative measures to deal with status offenders, or juveniles who commit offenses that would not be considered crimes for an adult. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll meet Dave Tabler who heard so many jokes about being from West Virginia, he began a website and podcast to defend it.  We’ll also meet Uncle Dude of Pocahontas County.  His nephew explains how his uncle mastered bluegrass music after contracting polio as a child.  Ashton Marra reports on Gov. Tomblin's new effort to reform the state's juvenile justice system. 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 Governor Tomblin's task force working to reform the state's juvenile justice system met for the first time in Charleston today. The group of some 30 members is tasked with presenting legislative recommendations before the end of the year.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and other state officials announce a partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts to study and improve the state's juvenile justice system. As part of the Turn This Town Around project, Matewan hopes grant funding can help revitalize the community. Also, as part of West Virginia University's School of Theatre and Dance, Morgantown's Repertory Theatre presents an original children's program, The Unlikely Princess.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Recently, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has been touting the successes of last year’s Justice Reinvestment Act in reducing prison and jail populations, as well as reducing the recidivism rate for prior offenders. While those initiatives have proved successful for adults, problems remain in the juvenile justice system.

On Wednesday, Tomblin and other state officials announced a partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts in hopes to better understand some of those issues and make improvements.

“Between 1997 and 2011, West Virginia experienced the largest increase in youths confined to juvenile facilities of any state in the country and was one of only four states in the United States to increase commitment rates even as other states were able to reduce both juvenile crime and commitments,” Tomblin said of the issues faced by the state’s juvenile justice system.